Wayne Rooney looks destined for a bit part role for Manchester United this season after, yesterday, again finding himself on the bench for Jose Mourinho's side.
The question, then, is whether the England captain is willing to accept reduced involvement on game day, or whether he will push for a move away from the club he joined way back in 2004?
According to a report from The Sun, the United hierarchy aren't pushing Rooney towards the exit door themselves. However, they are believed to be willing to let the veteran forward leave if he requests a move. They will, though, be looking for a significant fee in return.
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Per the newspaper's report, the Red Devils will try to recoup most, if not all, of the £25 million fee they paid Everton to bring Rooney to Old Trafford some 12 years ago.
The likelihood of this happening has to be brought into question considering the fact that the England striker has recently turned 31 and is arguably enduring the worst run of form in his professional career.
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Indeed, again per the Sun, United's insistence on receiving a significant transfer fee should they give the green light for a Rooney exit all but rules out reported recent interest from Everton and Major League Soccer going much further.
At this stage, the only league willing to fork out £25 million may well be the Chinese Super League.
In recent times, clubs in the Chinese league have paid £47.5 million for Hulk, £23 million for Ramires and £42.5 million for Alex Teixeira. They'd certainly be able to afford the fee United want for Rooney.
However, whilst the Red Devils captain is reportedly considering his options due to reduced playing time under Mourinho this season, it isn't thought that he is interested in a move to the CSL.
As such, it looks increasingly likely that we are heading towards a stand off.
On the one hand, we have the player himself who must decide whether he wants to prioritise regular football over a new role at Old Trafford.
On the other, we have United's front office who, if Rooney does ask to leave, must decide whether keeping a disgruntled player around the club is better than simply accepting a lesser fee for a player who has contributed hugely to the club for more than a decade but, in reality, is probably no longer worth £25 million.
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